Grandfather Mountain is all at once, rugged, yet welcoming. It’s also one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains topping out at nearly 6,000 feet. Hands-down, it’s one of the most beautiful landscapes in North Carolina. And whether you choose to hike one of its many beautiful trails, or simply take a drive up to the swinging bridge, one thing’s for sure – you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.
Visit the Swinging Bridge, but don’t Miss Out on These Things Too
There’s no doubt that the Mile-High Swinging Bridge is one of the area’s top attractions because it’s easy to access and fun to explore. However, the views don’t stop there. If you have time, check out these things too:
- Stop at Cliffside Overlook: About three quarters of the way up to the bridge is a viewpoint called Cliffside Overlook. Pull into it. There’s a killer view.
- Visit wildlife habitats and nature museum: A globally-recognized nature preserve, Grandfather Mountain is home to an array of animals such as black bear, river otters, cougars and white-tailed deer. Large environmental habitats have been created where you can view animals in natural settings.
- Book a naturalist: Schedule a guided tour or hike.
- Hike the Summit Trails: There’s something for everyone. Trails are well maintained and range from easy to difficult. A favorite hike is to go out Grandfather Trail and return along Underwood Trail. MacRae’s Peak is also tops but, more vigorous. With boulder strewn paths, rocky outcroppings, ladders and cables, this two-mile hike is packed with awe-inspiring scenery.
- Hike the Profile Trail: About 7 miles round trip, this popular hike showcases the famous “grandfather profile.” When you get to the top, you’ll find yourself face to face with this famous view. Try to find the chin and eyebrows and just soak up the scenery.
- Get your Scottish On. Don’t miss out on the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. You’ll enjoy traditional dancing, piping, drumming, athletic achievement, music and Gaelic culture.
No matter what you decide to do, we’re sure you’ll want to return again and again. As John Muir, an American outdoor enthusiast, once said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
Here’s a good resource for buying tickets, planning your visit and more: https://www.ncparks.gov/grandfather-mountain-state-park.